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Some gold shops in Dubai absorb 5 pct VAT

Some gold shops in Dubai absorb 5 pct VATv

Customers shop at a jewellery store in Dubai. Some retailers in Dubai have decided to waive the 5 pct VAT to cushion customers against further inflationary pressures – Photo by Gulf News

DUBAI, Jan 4: Effective January 1 this year, buyers of gold and diamond jewellery in the UAE are supposed to pay a 5 per cent value added tax (VAT), but it looks like some of them won’t have to pay for the extra charge, according to Gulf News.

A few retailers in the country have decided to waive the 5 per cent VAT to cushion consumers against further inflationary pressures, according to a source at the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group (DGJG), which has about 500 merchant members in the emirate. “They’re doing this as part of their marketing efforts. Some of them have absorbed the fees, but the majority of the retailers are passing the 5 per cent VAT to their customers,” the source told Gulf News.

Among the retailers, Pure Gold Jewellers announced on Wednesday that shoppers who walk into their outlets wont have to worry about paying a tax, whether they’re looking for gold coins, bracelets, necklaces or diamond rings.

“Customers of Pure Gold Jewellers will not pay VAT on any gold or diamond products,” the company said in a statement. Gold consumption in the UAE is the highest in the Middle East region.

According to the World Gold Council, each person in the country buys about 5 grams of gold, as of 2016. People from Kuwait are the second-biggest spender on gold, with per capita demand standing at 3.1 grams per person, followed by Saudi Arabia at 1.9 grams and Egypt at 0.3 grams.

Beginning Jan 1, 2018, however, buyers in the country faced the prospects of having their budgets squeezed with the introduction of VAT. Merchants across the UAE started charging a 5 per cent VAT to their customers who purchase goods and services across the UAE, including utilities, private transport, electronics, jewellery and entertainment.

“This charge will affect every resident and tourist when buying goods and services, except customers [who purchase from us],” Pure Gold said. The company said the 5 per cent tax will be waived for the full month of January. “This means that customers will not have to pay the increased prices.”

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